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Do You Know Your Content Marketing ROI?

Apr 21, '16 / by Mark Loehrke

Content Marketing ROI

Superhero battles may be all the rage these days, but here’s one that you’re going to want to avoid: Marketing v. Finance. As many as 73% of executives think that marketers lack credibility, a philosophical disconnect that can lead to questions such as:

Can creativity and accountability peacefully coexist?

How do lofty marketing aspirations fit into the bottom line?

Is it possible to accurately quantify the true value of content?

Finding the answers to these questions and proving your content marketing ROI is a matter of looking at the right metrics.

The (Hard-to-Quantify) Value of Content

In truth, it’s actually very easy to make an argument for the value of your marketing content. To summarize, great content can help:

  • Define your company’s persona
  • Pump up your search results
  • Present your company as a trusted authority

This all sounds terrific, right? The problem is, these benefits lack the quantifiable punch that demonstrates a tangible boost to the bottom line. To complicate things further, these are often slow-building attributes, which is not an easy sell when other investments may offer a much quicker turnaround and more immediate return.         

Data, Data Everywhere

One obstacle that you probably won’t face in trying to attach numbers to your marketing content is finding data points. There are literally dozens of ways to track everything from traffic to clicks to shares, but do any of these various individual points lead you to a better understanding of the bigger picture of content marketing ROI?

Those 73% of executives noted above are skeptical of typical marketing numbers for a reason: Too often, they don’t know what your marketing data means or why it matters.

Related Content: Grab our Marketing Reporting Toolkit for free templates

For example, you may present to your executives a chart showing that click-through rates are climbing. But that chart alone doesn’t explain whether those clicks actually led to any sales or what it cost the company to get to those clicks in the first place.

In other words, the problem isn’t that you don’t have any data; the problem is that you’re not connecting the dots with your data. 

Tell the Right Story

As a marketer, you spend your life trying to tell the clearest, most resonant stories possible. So why should crafting the story of your content marketing ROI be any different?

The key is to strip out the data that doesn’t clearly illustrate that value, and instead choose the metrics that matter most to your audience of corporate leaders. Those measures should include:

Metric 1: Customer Acquisition Cost

The Story It Tells: The total average cost the company spends to acquire a new customer 

Metric 2: Marketing % of Customer Acquisition Cost

The Story It Tells: How much of your CAC is made up of marketing expenses

Metric 3: Ratio of Customer Lifetime Value to CAC

The Story It Tells: How much value the company derives from each new customer, in light of how much it costs to bring that customer through the door

Metric 4: Time to Payback CAC

The Story It Tells: How long it takes to recoup the investment for acquiring a new customer

Metric 5: Marketing Originated Customer %

The Story It Tells: The portion of total customer acquisitions that directly originated from your marketing efforts 

Metric 6: Marketing Influenced Customer %

The Story It Tells: Total new customers who interacted with marketing in any way throughout the sales process

Why do these six metrics do a better job of measuring marketing content ROI? Because they speak clearly and unambiguously to management by directly connecting your content to specific and measurable business outcomes.

So don’t fight a losing battle with finance – show them exactly what your marketing content is worth!

Want to learn more about how to calculate and analyze these six key measures? Download our FREE ebook “Six Marketing Metrics You Can’t Afford to Ignore” today.    

EBOOK: Six Marketing Metrics You Can't Afford to Ignore    

Topics: Marketing ROI

Mark Loehrke
Written by Mark Loehrke

Throughout my career, I've covered a huge range of topics – from asset-liability management to up-and-coming jazz artists. I know what it takes to sell an idea, and I write content that informs and entertains in equal measure.

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